The very first Resident Evil game, released on PlayStation, is a game that had quite the impact on players and the industry as a whole, spawning an incredibly successful survival horror series that is still going on more than two decades later. But did you know that this first game was initially developed for the… SNES?
Here’s what Koji Oda (Director of Mega Man 11, who worked on the original version of Resident Evil) had to say about that:
This was back before the name Resident Evil had even been assigned to it. The codename for this was literally just ‘horror game.’ On the SNES, we were working with limited hard drive space, so it’s not like we could dump a movie in there. If we had actually completed it on the SNES, I’m sure it would have been considerably different. For example, it was originally set in a place that had nothing to do with reality – more of a hellish place.
What’s more, the game was initially designed as a spiritual sequel to the NES horror game Sweet Home, with the final version retaining several elements of that NES title (the mansion setting, environmental puzzles, scattered notes shedding light on the story, limited inventory, and the iconic door loading screen).
While there’s no doubt moving the game to the PlayStation was the right choice, it’s certainly interesting to think about what that “SNES Resident Evil” game could have been like… even though we don’t know just how far into development the game was when the decision was made to scrap it.